One of my colleagues here at Franchise Direct was in touch with news of a really fascinating social media experiment that McDonald's Cananda is running at the moment.
They've essentially set up a website with the url Yourquestions.McDonalds.ca. Now as books like Super Size Me have proved, McDonald's can be a divisive force among consumers. For some, it's a beloved fast food joint. For others, its an unhealthy dining establishment. On the yourquestions, which looks a lot like a Pinterest, web users can simply ask the franchsie questions. On one level, they're opening themselves about ridicule and abuse. On another, they're create a feeling of transparency in a social media space while interacting with real life eaters.
There's an interesting range of questions on the site. Some like "How come my sandwich never look like the picture? I often get depressed seeing how flat my junior chickens look" are jokey and negative. There's no way really that McDonald's can answer that questions. Others though like "Is this their beef in McDonald's fries" provide an idea venue of real customer interaction. They answered: "Nope, there is no beef in our fries. Our fries are cooked in 100% vegetable oil and have their own dedicated fryer. They neither contain nor come into contact with any meat products. Hope that helps, David!"
For franchises serious about building relationships with consumers in the social media era, McDonald's has shown another way to build bridges.